As far as protagonists go, Sam Judd is surprisingly gentle with a businesslike acumen to him. He’s a surfer and founder of Sustainable Coastlines, a multi-award winning charity whose mission is to educate and enable people to look after New Zealand's coastlines.
He is, as you assume a good dude, but like all good samaritans, there is shit that gets under his skin. Corona sat down with Sam at the Albert Town tree planting day and asked him to unload some of his biggest pet peeves.
1. Pine Trees
Not because they drop their fascicles all over the place or smell so lovely all the time.
It's because, for some reason, we have a system that allows the clear-felling of these beautiful evergreen dwellers of our lands.
Not only does this destroy waterways, it harms people (forestry is the most dangerous job you can do), causes massive problems through wilding pines spreading across the landscape and the wood is below average for building. It requires horrible treatment systems - most of which contain arsenic - to be durable.
For me, the test for the material is - 'would I let my daughter lick it?' - and Copper Chrome Arsenic treated pine falls way short of meeting such a test.
Who in their right mind would litter? Do we want all men to have smaller penises and grow breasts?
This plastic filth mimics oestrogen, which can make this happen, no joke, this is serious stuff.
Likewise if this poison from plastic gets into girls' bodies, it can make them become infertile.
Considering that fish are eating plastic, littering is basically poisoning people as it gets into the food chain. If people knew what we do, they simply would not litter.
3. Intensive Land Use in the Wrong Place
Recently I took a flight over the Mackenzie Country in inner Canterbury. This is a place that I would rather be - an amazing landscape. The area is a desert ecologically, but irrigation has now enabled some major conversions to dairy farming.
Do we want our rivers to be a stinking mess of algae? With tourism accounting for more income for New Zealanders than anything else right now, we have to consider what we want our future landscapes to look like.
This refers to the 'Not In My Backyard' dynamic.
This mantle is usually held by old dinosaurs who have nothing better to do with their time than oppose something good. When it comes to establishing marine reserves for example, hundreds of thousands of people will passively support a reserve, but a handful of people will oppose vigorously because they think they have some kind of special right.
If we want to improve our lot, we need to be ready to sacrifice some of the privileges that we have here. These include things like single-use plastic bags, sustainable development for housing and reserves.
These washed up spinsters are trying to pull the Romney wool over our eyes.
I am sick and tired of seeing expensive sustainability reports trying to make bad companies look good. Basically the bigger the report, the worse the company usually is.
When it comes to partnering with businesses that do cause some harm - the key for me is that the people and the brand get behind something that is actually 'regenerative'. This is one of the reasons why we partner with Corona. Yes is a beer brand and yes it has the potential to cause harm if consumed inappropriately. But this partnership has seen thousands of litres of rubbish removed from the coast and thousands of native trees planted to become permanent forest sinks.
I think that if you want to be legit and generate a social license to operate, then cut the crap and go out and do something about it - plant some trees, educate some people about plastic in the ocean or just simply volunteer for one of our events. You will feel good about it when you do something that actually makes a difference and your grandchildren will thank you for it one day.
Head over to Sustainable Coastlines to see how you can help out.
Interview by Corona